Bread roll

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Bread rolls. Gosh, any kind of bread rolls: what vegan can say no? And then when you make it a pretzel roll?


I admit, I was scrolling through Instagram stories when I saw that someone had kindly posted Little Flower Café & Bakery‘s recipe for their buttermilk pretzel rolls. I took a screenshot on my phone, mostly to remind myself to don’t forget to try making it someday.

The someday came and it was…well…fresh bread rolls straight out of the oven are simply hard to beat, you know? If there are only two people in one household, it’s almost impossible not to eat, oh, let’s say maybe 5 rolls per person during the first day.

I’ve made it a few times since then…and this recipe is a keeper. You should make it, too.

Buttermilk Pretzel Rolls, vegan

Makes 16 rolls. Recipe courtesy of Little Flower Cafe & Bakery‘s baking recipe book


For bread:
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1.5 cups warm water
Buttermilk: 2/3rd cup plant milk + 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon oil, divided
5 cups bread flour
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon salt

For poaching liquid:
6 tablespoons baking soda
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 cups water

For garnish:
1/3 cup oil
2 tablespoons kosher salt


Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. While waiting, mix together plant milk and apple cider vinegar to make buttermilk and let it sit to curdle for at least 3 minutes. When the 5 minutes are up, add buttermilk and oil to the yeast water.
Combine flour, sugars, and salt in the large bowl of a stand mixer. Add wet mixture all at once. Mix with a dough hook on medium-low speed until the dough is smooth and tacky, about 15 minutes. Lightly coat the dough mass with the remaining teaspoon of oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise at room temperature until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mats. Optional: brush the paper/mats with oil. While waiting for your dough to rise, place all the poaching liquid ingredients into a 3-quart pot.
After it’s risen, lightly punch out the air and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into tennis ball-size mounds. Roll each mound into a 6-8 inch rope and then tie into a simple knot. Divide the knots between the prepared baking sheets.
Heat the poaching liquid to a gentle boil, adjusting heat as necessary so it doesn’t boil over. Using a slotted spoon, submerge 3 knots at a time into the hot poaching liquid for 8 seconds on each side. Before returning the knots back to the baking sheet, drip off as much liquid as reasonably possible (will help prevent excessive burning on the bottom of your rolls).
Quickly brush rolls with aquafaba (or oil) and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt.
Bake until the rolls turn a nice amber brown, about 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through.

Recipe Notes:

Apple cider vinegar (ACV). Instead of ACV, you can you (almost) any kind of food acid you want here. Lemon juice is another popular replacement. If you even wanted to use white or rice vinegar, I’m sure that’d work although may slightly flavor the final product.
Oil. The original recipe calls for extra virgin olive oil but I tend to use canola most of the time for breads.
Sugar. I don’t bake much so only keep one type of brown sugar on hand, light brown sugar. If you only have dark brown, it may be a good idea to replace a small portion of it with granulated sugar. As Bon Appetit magazine says: “While light and dark brown sugar are interchangeable, they’re not exact substitutes. Using dark brown sugar when a recipe calls for light will give your final product a more robust taste and a darker color, and it might slightly affect the texture.”
Oiling the parchment paper. Most recently, the rolls came out shaped…a little different than the first several times I made it. After typing this out, I realized I skipped this step and I wonder if this may have played a role to some degree with how they baked. If you forget or decide to omit it altogether, I can promise you this: they still tasted as comforting as they usually do.
Dividing your dough. The first time I made this, eyeballed the cutting of dough. After that, I couldn’t help myself and pull out a scale to get the rolls to be more close in size. Your choice!
Brushing with aquafaba (or oil). I’m telling you, if you use aquafaba, it truly makes toppings stick! So much better than oil, in my opinion. Yes, aquafaba is commonly the liquid from canned beans (often chickpeas and white beans); no, it does not affect the taste of the final product by any means. It’s my preferred choice to keep toppings from falling off! SIDE NOTE: I also like to put sesame seeds on my rolls. I’m sure an “everything bagel” mixture would be quite nice, too.

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